State Approves Two Rate Changes For Gulf Power. Here’s What It Means For Your Bill.

March 3, 2021

The Florida Public Service Commission on Tuesday approved two rate change requests from Gulf Power — one to cover Hurricane Sally recovery costs and the other due to the conversion to natural gas generation.

The rate changes will lead to a net decrease for customer bills beginning in March, according to Gulf Power.

Gulf Power customers will bear the cost of $206 million in Hurricane Sally costs. For residential customers, the charge will be $3 a month on a 1,000 kwh bill.

But that increase will be more than offset by savings from the conversion of Plant Crist, recently renamed as the Gulf Clean Energy Center, from coal to natural gas. Gulf Power constructed a 39-mile long natural gas pipeline through North Escambia from Century to the plant.

With an adjusted environmental cost recovery provision, there will be a net decrease in the typical residential customer bill of approximately 73 cents per month for the remainder of the year.

Earlier this year, Gulf Power announced that its Plant Crist coal units had been converted to natural gas delivered by a new pipeline. The company notified the FPSC late last year that it planned to retire the plant’s coal assets early, resulting in benefits to the local community as well as cost savings for customers.

“Ending our use of coal in Florida is part of our plan to usher in a new, cleaner energy era for Northwest Florida, along with emissions-free solar farms,” said Mike Spoor, vice president of Gulf Power. “Modernizing Gulf Clean Energy Center ensures we deliver benefits for our customers and our communities through greater reliability and lower costs along with cleaner emissions.”

The retirement of coal at the plant was accelerated by Hurricane Sally, which caused damage to the plant’s coal equipment. The company determined that it is in the best interests of its customers to accelerate the conversion to natural gas instead of repairing the coal equipment.

North Escambia plays a key role in Gulf Power’s plans to rely more on solar energy with two solar farms on about 1,200 acres in McDavid, as first reported by NorthEscambia.com.

Construction beginning on the Cotton Creek Solar Energy Center in the area of Bogia Road. At 74.2 megawatts, Cotton Creek will generate enough electricity to power 15,000 homes annually, according to Gulf Power.

Gulf Power is now seeking the necessary permits for the First City Solar Energy Center in the area of Cox and Roach Roads. It will be 74.5 megawatts, also enough to power another 15,000 homes annually.

Photos for NorthEscambia.com, click to enlarge.

Comments

16 Responses to “State Approves Two Rate Changes For Gulf Power. Here’s What It Means For Your Bill.”

  1. Anon on March 9th, 2021 10:35 pm

    Hey Chuck. The gas is odorized before it get into the new 24” line. You have no idea what you’re talking about.

  2. Ladyraven on March 4th, 2021 7:41 pm

    So time to go to back to the time of fire and sun being our light and heat . The prices are more then most can afford already now they are adding more ? How do they expect people to pay when with the covid 19 plague most are unemployed, or 1 foot already out the door . They need to answer for the things they already add to our Bill’s without explanation….. corrupt monopolies always hide behind the legal technicalities so they can take more than they inform you about without being held accountable because no one knows what they are paying ,they just pay the bill without question

  3. Chuck on March 4th, 2021 1:59 pm

    I don’t believe NextEra (Gulf Power) cares about public safety and the citizens who live on and near this 24” high pressure natural gas pipeline. If they did, they would add the odorant (mercaptan) to give the Methane that “rotten egg” smell. We have no way of knowing if there’s a potentially deadly leak. I’ve made several requests to Mr Steven Barry (our county commissioner) for help with little or no response. I’ve also called the phone number on the pipeline sign to ask the nice gentleman who answered “How would someone along this pipeline know if there was a gas leak without being able to smell it”. The gentleman responded “Well you may see dead vegetation or hear a hissing sound coming from the ground. “Or if it’s a large leak it may be more of a roaring sound”. I told him that was very comforting and he assured me that he would send my request for gas pipeline leak education up the ladder. But he also stated “I’m not promising you’ll hear anything from them”. This is a relatively short pipeline (39miles) and it would a great gesture if the utility would for once put public safety ahead of profit. Everyday on or near this pipeline easement there are kids playing, people are hunting and fishing, farmers working their fields and many families are just carrying on with their lives. Lying nearby is a potential deadly hazard buried just a few feet below the ground. As a previous comment said, these welds only last so long and many factors go into their longevity. I would encourage everyone to contact our elected officials and voice their concerns. Who knows maybe this multi billion dollar energy conglomerate will do the right thing. But I doubt it.

  4. Patricia White on March 4th, 2021 10:12 am

    After a raise for all in December and January they are going to give us back a couple of pennies. I still don’t know why my bill jumped over $120 then this past bill went back to normal. Didn’t even have Christmas lights and was gone for half the month but when I asked about the raise the only explanation was it was a read meter.

  5. Watt Now on March 3rd, 2021 5:18 pm

    Aren’t rate payers still paying for the $750,000,000 flue gas scrubber that is no longer used?

  6. Tc on March 3rd, 2021 12:09 pm

    All you anti- fossil fuel folks don’t forget what feeds this plant along with the majority of every other power plant in the country .. natural gas !!

  7. Kenneth Camargo on March 3rd, 2021 11:29 am

    Time to go solar on the home.

  8. Beulah Boy on March 3rd, 2021 11:03 am

    And what about the $ 8.00 a month we have been assessed for years for recovery of Hurricane Michael. Now add that to the $ 3.00 for Sally so we are paying an additional
    $ 11.00 a month.

  9. terrytrawick on March 3rd, 2021 10:45 am

    If things keep going the way gulfpower raises rates,we will have to live the way our grandparents lived back in the day,no power.

  10. db on March 3rd, 2021 9:51 am

    The tax payers get rolled again.
    And the state lets them do it. This is cronyism at it’s finest.
    These power companies and “lobbied” elected officials are getting over on every single tax payer.
    Vote these clowns out.

  11. Me on March 3rd, 2021 9:36 am

    I’ll tell u what next “error” (gulf power) needs to do is to spend a little money and put some of that “rotten egg smelling” stuff in the gas line that they had installed so if there is ever a leak, and I’m sure there will be eventually because welds don’t hold forever, it can be detected by individuals!

  12. Rasheed Jackson on March 3rd, 2021 9:26 am

    According to the article the net decrease goes away at the end of the year. A total savings of $7.30 per customer, if this includes March.
    My first question is concerning the “net decrease” and the fact that it is only good through the end of the year. Is this the 73 cents per month or the total adjusted environmental cosnvironmental cos My second question is, how long will the $3 per 1000kwh charge last? There was no mention of this charge being dropped. It seems to me the hurricane recovery cost should be the temporary increase and adjusted environmental cost recovery provision, should be permanent.
    If they drop the total adjusted environmental cost recovery provision, and not the hurricane recovery cost provision, customers will see an increase in their power bills of $3 per 1000kwh
    Maybe I missed something, or maybe this is just some of that fuzzy math George W. spoke of way back in 2000.

  13. Alan on March 3rd, 2021 8:17 am

    Wonder what the bill will do when the 150MW of solar is added to the rate base.

  14. Green Newdeal on March 3rd, 2021 8:14 am

    Two things….

    1: A 1200 acre solar farm doesn’t sound very green.

    2: if you think a $15 minimum wage is going to be absorbed by the company or paid for by fairies, here is an example of cost transfer. Notice how there is talk of a time limit of the price increase.

  15. Justahand on March 3rd, 2021 7:41 am

    They swapped to natural gas early because sally wrecked their coal units. We pumped about 25 feet of water out of the basement. All 4 turbines had to be rebuilt so they went ahead and swapped to natural gas “Early”.

  16. joe kilowatt on March 3rd, 2021 1:24 am

    two choices on electricity – 1) you pay= lights on – 2) you don’t pay= lights off
    A devious plot perpetrated by mother nature, and those pesky conversions.





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